President Obama still has a year and a half left in his Presidency and already the race is on to get his job and move into the White House. The thing is, Presidents and their families come and go, but the hundred-or so staff workers behind the scenes carrying out their roles in order to make sure America’s most important House is taken care of, do their jobs quietly without any fuss or recognition. Their mantra, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,” no matter who is the current tenant.
Journalist, Kate Andersen Brower has spent fours years covering the Obama Presidency and now she has written THE RESIDENCE: Inside The Private World of The White House (Harper/HarperCollins), and it’s not only interesting from a current cultural perspective, but in its historical significance. Brower claims she’s been given unprecedented access to former workers and their stories; White house staffers are known for fiercely keeping a tight lip and their “passion for anonymity.”
In 1800, President John and Abigail Adams were the first tenants. The White House is approximately 55,000 square feet, has 6 floors, 3 elevators, 8 staircases, 28 fireplaces, 35 bathrooms, 147 windows and sits on 18 acres in the middle of Washington DC. It’s staffed by 96 full-time and 250 part-time employees made up of butlers, maids, chefs, ushers, engineers, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, florists, doormen, calligraphers and dog walkers.
Some of the more revealing stories Brower shares are how President Lyndon Johnson conducted much of his business while sitting on the toilet and Nancy Reagan’s behavior was nearly impossible, regularly screaming at President Reagan in front of staff. The stories go back to the Kennedy administration through today.
Ultimately, it reads like it was a real pain at times to live in that big house with all the staff trying to do everything for the First Family every single minute. But then again, the First Family do know in the back of their minds, they’ll eventually be moving out. 🙂
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Harper/HarperCollins for providing a copy of THE RESIDENCE for an honest review. We have one copy to give away. Just leave a comment about what fascinates you about the White House or if you’ve ever visited? We’ll chose next Thursday, April 22nd.
The TLC Book Tour continues on. See below for where it’s going next and where you can purchase THE RESIDENCE and get more information on Kate Andersen Brower.
Kate Andersen Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two young children.
Follow Kate on Twitter, @katebrower.
Kate’s Tour Stops
Thursday, April 16th: The Well-Read Redhead
Monday, April 20th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Tuesday, April 21st: Stacy’s Books
Wednesday, April 22nd: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews
Thursday, April 23rd: Doing Dewey
Friday, April 24th: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, April 27th: Jorie Loves a Story
Tuesday, April 28th: missris
Wednesday, April 29th: Lavish Bookshelf
Thursday, April 30th: Tina Says …
Monday, May 4th: Man of La Book
Tuesday, May 5th: Based on a True Story
Wednesday, May 6th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Thursday, May 7th: Reading Lark
Monday, May 11th: Luxury Reading
Tuesday, May 19th: Broken Teepee